by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — ROYAL CENTER — A slight drizzle wasn’t enough to deter the residents and visitors of Royal Center Saturday as they engaged in the town’s annual Pioneer Days event — a weekend of community meals, garage sales, a parade and live music.
The weekend of activities culminated with the Pioneer Days parade Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people lined the sidewalks of U.S. 31 through town to view representatives of more than 50 local organizations pass by.
The Cass County 4-H Tailwaggers Dog Club, Cass County Republicans and Logansport Shrine Club were just some of the local organizations that cruised past onlookers, waving from their decorated floats, vintage cars, animal-drawn carriages, fire trucks and more.
“It’s a time to visit with friendly faces you haven’t seen since last year,” said Elaine Funk, a volunteer who helped organize the parade, adding that it recognizes local organizations and students for awards and scholarships they’ve won.
The recognition of students was something Katy Kemp, visiting from Lebanon, found particularly enjoyable.
“I liked the honoring of the students,” she said. “That’s different from other parades I’ve seen.”
Before the parade, more than 30 Royal Center households participated in the Pioneer Days tradition of holding garage sales throughout the day.
Tammy Shidler got together with several other families to hold one big garage sale, she said as she helped pack up the sale’s remaining items, which she said would be donated to charity.
“It’s a celebration of the community,” she said. “It’s a time for past and present, family and friends to get together, make food, share a meal and be silly.”
Shaun and Cindy Kasten have held a garage sale at their home every year on Pioneer Days since moving to Royal Center four years ago.
Their garage sale this year was milder than in years in the past, Shaun Kasten said on the porch of their home. Last year he had so many items for sale that he ran out of tables and had to spread things out on tarps, he said, often receiving the comment, “You have everything but the kitchen sink!”
“Hang on, I can probably find one of those,” he recalled telling people with a laugh.
The event drew to a close at Rea Park Saturday evening, where visitors dined on food available at food trucks and the Lions Club concessions stand while the rock, country and blues cover tunes of Night Shift Band entertained them into the evening.
Mark and Candy Minniear, of Reynolds, joined in on the festivities while visiting their daughter and grandson, Nicki and Trevin Arnold, who recently moved to Royal Center.
Mark Minniear said he thought the live music was a good way to bring the festivities to a close.
“Anything to bring the community together,” he said. “It was a very nice family day.”